Principal’s Advisory Council: Develop Structures that Elevate Student Voice in Equitable Ways

Diverse group of high school students speaking with each other in a meeting.

When we listen, we hear the stories people share that show their deeply held beliefs and the way they see the world.

– Margaret Wheatley


  • Do students feel empowered to influence decision-making at your school?
  • If so, do those voices represent all students at your school or just a small group?


  • Use protocols, systems, and structures for convening
  • Establish group norms
    • Start by giving students clear examples
    • Have students add any norms or take away ones
    • How do we as a group address if these norms aren’t being followed?
  • Practice conversation and listening
  • Use pronouns as a voluntary practice while establishing allyship
  • Establish/re-establish relationships
    • Ask how do we come together as a community to learners
    • Give students opportunities to learn more about each others’ stories outside of their groups so they can be better advocates
  • Stay curious about one another
  • Conversations is the natural way for humans to think together
  • It can be messy at times
  • End with a closing prompt

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